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The Dove (HWC2013)

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posted on Oct, 16 2013 @ 12:22 PM
This is my first story since I left school, nearly 30 years ago. I'm writing it in parts as and when I have time to write it, but I've already written the first part during the last few days. I hope you like it.

posted on Oct, 16 2013 @ 12:29 PM
The Dove

In terms of accidental discoveries, this has to be up there with the best of them. I mean, we're talking penicillin, X-rays, radioactivity and a host of others as competition. But a new world – in fact, a new civilisation – well, how are you going to top that?

When the Kepler Space Observatory finally failed its primary mission a couple centuries ago (I think it was around 2013) it was left to drift, searching out potential hazards by tracking and predicting meteor and comet paths to make sure they didn't have an unexpected rendezvous with Earth. It did a good job by finding nothing of importance. Then, one ordinary day near the end of the millennium, something extraordinary happened. It found, completely by accident, an Earth twin. Only 22 Light Years away was a planet just like ours.

It took a decade of intense study and research, along with the orbit of a new dedicated space observatory and the launch of a new NLS (Near Light Speed) probe to confirm that this twin was in fact habitable and an almost verbatim duplicate of Earth. It wasn't until the NLS probe returned to Earth 50 years later that we knew, absolutely and undeniably, that Earth 2 (as we called it) was also inhabited. Laser-etched into the probe's hull was a picture of a bird; a Dove.

Forty years later saw the launch of my ship Columba, Earth's first Inter-Stella Class ship. It uses most of the systems of the successful Neptune Class explorers, along with the added bonus of the as yet untested GasComa stasis chambers for myself, as Commander, and the crew – mostly science and diplomacy ambassadors. Well, as I'm writing this, I'm pleased to report that the chambers work as described.

I've just skipped through the recorded replay of my re-fluidisation and I must say I've had better days. While in GasComa stasis you resemble a bloated corpse, with the surprise and often violent addition of electrical stimulus for ten minutes in every hour. It takes, on average, 30 hours to refluidise and regain everything you thought you had before you went in – like conscientiousness, memories and your mission objective, provided you can remember who you are, of course.

During the 96 years between Earth 2's discovery and the launch of Columba almost every single scientist on Earth was involved in some way for the preparation and planning for contact. We immediately started transmitting data to them in the hope that 'they' could receive and understand it. Included in this was a simple mathematic decoding protocol. We transmitted something new every other day, slowly building a data record of who we are and what life on Earth is like. Obviously, being so far away, it took 22 years to get a response. But we did get one.

posted on Oct, 16 2013 @ 05:28 PM
reply to post by TerraLiga

Very interesting...I want to read more please!!! You caught my attention..

Can't wait. And good luck

Peace and love
-nat the blue eyed cat-

posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 05:05 AM
Thank you Natalia, you're very kind.

I've written it in two dialogues – the first, above, as a story/diary of Commander Drake, and the second as a narrative. I forgot to put in the part where he saves his story so it would make it more obvious, so I'll start the next part with the 'Save' part I meant to include in the fist post...

posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 05:07 AM
[SAVE] : [Unofficial Memoirs of a Spaceman] : [Commander F. Drake] : [October 1 2227]

Commander Drake thought this was a good time to take a relief and refreshment break. Still feeling fragile from the re-fluidisation process, writing memoirs was not a priority right now. It definitely was a priority, though. With 12 billion potential readers on Earth, and God-only-knows how many alien readers, being the leading officer of the first ever Human/Alien physical contact mission was a cast-iron guarantee of instant fame and fortune – and there was no way Drake was going to miss out on any of it. A hero is one thing, but a rich hero is quite another thing altogether.

In a few hours Drake would have to confirm initialisation of the crew's re-fluidisation procedure. This was a safety feature of the mission – if all was not going to plan at this stage they would be shot back to Earth for recovery while still in stasis. While Drake still had the ship alone, a run around the Leisure Deck seemed like a good idea to clear the head and lubricate the joints, and a quick detour to the Hold seemed prudent to check on the consignments we thought our friends would like a sample of. Natural resources, like gold and other precious metals, minerals and gemstones, entertainment and comms devices, representations of our greatest art, including works created specifically for the mission, the sum total of our scientific knowledge. And, of course, our DNA.

Fortunately, Columba had not been robbed during the journey so everything was just as it was left; crated up and locked down. Drake checked on the crew, sent a status report to Earth and Earth 2 and feeling tired, traipsed to the Crew Deck to catch up on some much-needed sleep. Over 30 years in stasis could definitely not equate to real, quality sleep. Dreams are so very much underrated.

posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 07:46 AM
[OPEN] : [Unofficial Memoirs of a Spaceman] : [Commander F. Drake] : [October 3 2227]

It took a team of 1200 cryptoanalysts and linguists to try to understand their language, but it was fruitless. From 2178, when we received their first messages, until now we still don't know what they are communicating. The task is relentless, however. A dedicated team work around the clock to try to decipher their messages, which come in every few days. Even if we could decipher what they are saying, having a proper conversation would be pretty much out of the question due to the vast distance and time lag between us, so we both continue to send vast streams of information across the galaxy; ours on the people, customs, faiths, traditions of the Human race; our scientific, artistic and moral achievements; our hopes, dreams and desires. Theirs? Who knows, but I'm sure we are not so far apart. I imagine they are much like us; an inquisitive, intelligent and peaceful species who are happy to know they are not alone.

While Columba was being designed and built (Columba, by the way, is Latin for Dove) the whole world was invited to send in ideas for what we should take, who we should take and what we would say when we got there. There were some pretty nutty ideas, but a lot of good ones. Among our 16300Kg payload is the entire published book libraries of our world in digital form, the same with music catalogues and film archives. Probably the most novel item we are carrying is a biological library of all of the cures to our diseases – just in case.

Our crew is made up of two Technical Directors, a Biologist, Physicist, Chemist and three Ambassadors representing the people of Earth. All 6 non-technical crew have volunteered to stay on at Earth 2, if given the opportunity. Myself and the techs will fly Dove home after Contact, hopefully laden with reciprocal gifts.

I guess I should give a brief biography and state why I was chosen for this momentous mission. I wanted to be a Ship's Captain since I was young. When I completed my basic education I was recruited into the technical staff on one of the new Neptune Class explorers. Being a new recruit I was rostered on the dirtiest missions – gas mining Uranus and Neptune. I can't say it was easy or pleasant, but it paid well and for every two years I worked I got 6 months at home. I did this until I go to 30, when I was given the opportunity to captain my own ship. My captaincy of Neptune Explorer 4 was the most profitable of all six Neptune Class explorers in the fleet by utilising a slightly more efficient route and maximising the capacity of the gas chambers. This proved to be most rewarding when it came to renegotiating my employment contract. Eventually I was headhunted to replace the out-going Fleet Commander of a medium-sized leisure cruise line serving resorts on all five Moonbases and a one berth at Mars Marineris. Efficient use of scheduling and more effective route planning grew our market share and we slowing started buying our competition until we were the dominant cruise line in the marketplace. When I was recruited to my current position we had a 84% market share of the whole cruise market. When Captaincy of Columba came up I was the obvious choice, helped by a little 'selection engineering' of my own. At the age of 72 I'm only eight years off mandatory retirement and I can't think of a better way to end my career, and that bonus when I get home is another big incentive.

[SAVE] : [Unofficial Memoirs of a Spaceman] : [Commander F. Drake] : [October 4 2227]

posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 08:08 AM
reply to post by TerraLiga

Your title grabbed me. Probably not for favourable - to you reasons, let me show you.

As a young, impressionable and devastatingly good looking reader; I read the novel by the same title as yours.
I did thoroughly enjoy this book (even going to the lengths of hooking up headphones and using Jean Michel Jarre; as a sound track !)-( equinox ). lol !

That was one of a couple of books that I read in my younger years; that hooked me on reading.

Fast forward a couple of years, the movie comes out !

You guessed it - disappointed !

Great book! As I am sure yours shall be !

Would you consider a new title ?

( you are more than welcome to suggest I could - dry up and blow away )

Ed: This is the real life teller of this awe inspiring narrative...

edit on 17-10-2013 by Timely because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 08:36 AM
Thanks for the input. I must admit that I'd never heard of the book or film before now, although they share a couple similarities in that they are both based on ships and they are voyages of discovery. The similarities end there, however.

As for changing the title of my story, I'm afraid not. Sorry.

posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 09:55 AM
reply to post by TerraLiga

No probs. I wish you success with your efforts . * thumbs up *

( do we get special access here at ATS ? )

posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 07:32 AM
Bummer. I've only just managed to log in again today, my user and password fields were empty and I couldn't remember my password.

Anyway, to cut a longer story shorter, the story was based around preconceptions, among other things. While here on Earth we perceive the dove as a symbol of peace, those on Earth 2 used it much like our skull and crossbones – it was a warning to stay away, but we interpreted it wrongly.

There was one other preconception to the story. You may have noticed that Drake is not referred to by sex – it's because she was a woman, which would only would have become apparent at the end. Drake and the crew were held captive for a year while the aliens probed and researched us, being given a massive help by us sending a sample of our DNA.

Drake was impregnated and put back on the ship bound for Earth, paralysed. The young would have fed on the crew along the journey.

Having digested our culture during the year that they researched us, in the ultimate irony they had written on the ship's hull "Trick or treat?"

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